Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard-Should You Switch?

Mechanical Keyboard

It’s a discussion that has been well known these days and it’s about mechanical vs membrane keyboard. Every day more and more people are deciding to invest their money into a quality mechanical keyboard. And, as you may know, it was a ‘’standard’’ to own a membrane keyboard not so long time ago. But time is changing and nowadays it has become a normal thing to own a mechanical keyboard, especially if you are a gamer or a person that types a lot.

So who should use a Mechanical and who should use a Membrane keyboard?

If you ask me, I would recommend a mechanical keyboard to every gamer and to every person who types a lot. The only thing you need to be aware of is that mechanical keyboards make a clicking sound that can be quite noisy and of course they are more expensive than membranes one. On the other side, if you are using your keyboard for ordinary work and you love to take it with you on your trips then the membrane keyboard is a perfect choice for you.

Both types have good and bad sides, so let’s take a look at which one is better for you.

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that has individual mechanical switches under each key which provides the best typing experience.

There are several different key switches that perform differently. The most common switches are: red, blue and brown from Cherry MX. Each of them requires a different force to be pressed with. Some of them are clicky (blue), and some are not (red, brown).

You can see the full comparison of key switches down below on the table of popular key switches.

Mechanical

Good Sides of Mechanical Keyboard

Durability

Mechanical keyboards are built from quality materials and they can withstand up to 50 million keystrokes or more.

Removable keycaps

Mostly every mechanical keyboard comes with removable keycaps which give you the ability to customize your build and change your buttons. You can change the look of your keyboard with these amazing looking keycaps.

Faster typing

Mechanical keyboards allow you to type faster because you don’t need to press buttons all the way down. This feature is super useful when it comes to gaming.

Heavy

This can be positive and negative. Positive because mechanical keyboards are heavier than membrane ones and that is stopping them from moving while you’re typing.

N key rollover

Rollover is the ability of the keyboard to correctly handle multiple keystrokes. Again, this will have positive effects on gaming.

Easy to clean

Thanks to removable keycaps, cleaning mechanical keyboards are no longer “pain in the a**”

Bad Sides of Mechanical Keyboard

Price

By using more expensive materials and better technology, mechanical keyboards come with higher prices.

Loud

Mechanical keyboards make a specific clicking sound which can be really annoying for people around you.

Heavy

The negative side of this feature would be that mechanical keyboards are heavier than membrane ones and they are not designed for portability.


How Does Membrane Keyboard Work?

The membrane keyboard is using a single rubber underneath the keys that make contact with the board when the key is fully pressed. Keys are not separated and they have very little movement.

This type of keyboard has a slower reaction time than the mechanical one.

Membrane Keyboard

Good Sides of Membrane Keyboards

Portability

The good thing about those keyboards is that they are much lighter and it’seasier to carry them wherever you go.

Relatively Quiet

Membrane keyboards are quiet and they are perfect for the situation where you need to type surrounded by other people.

Price

They come at a much more affordable price.

Bad Sides of the Membrane Keyboard

Durability

Although the keyboard has a lifetime of several million presses, it still consumes faster than the mechanical keyboards. After a while, you will feel that the typing has become “mushy”, which will cause the keys to loose feedback.

Typing

Typing on this kind of keyboard is less enjoyable than typing on a mechanical once.

Membrane keyboards require greater force while you are pressing the keys.

No N key rollover

No ability to press multiple keys at once and stays registered. Except for a few models.

Hard to clean

Keycaps on membrane keyboard are usually not removable, so cleaning of the keyboard is more difficult.


How to Choose the Right Mechanical Keyboard Switches for Yourself

In order to know which keyboard would suit your needs the most, you need to know where and what you’re going to use it for. Even though they give satisfying sounds to the person that’s typing on it, they can be very irritating to other people around you.

Here you can see all the popular switches and their characteristics:

Popular key switches

There are a few things you should pay attention to when purchasing a mechanical keyboard.

Behavior– how the switch feels or sounds when it is pressed.

  • Linear – smooth keystrokes.
  • Tactile – a bump, usually around the actuation point, in the middle of the travel.
  • Clicky – a bump with a noisy “click” sound in the middle of the travel.

Feel – how hard you need to press the keys for each stroke.

Actuation Force – the force you need to use to activate the key.

Actuation Point – the distance at which the key responds when it is pressed. Measured from keycap’s top.

Sound level – the sound volume level of typing.

Most popular key switches coming from Cherry MX, Razer, Kailh, and others. You cannot make mistakes with any of the mechanical key switches. Every key switch gives you unmistakable and stronger feedback which you will surely admire, especially if you are switching from a membrane keyboard.


How Does Mechanical Keyboard Sound?

Watch this video to know how does different key switches sound.


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